Resources Travel Updates

Travel Advisories for Monterey County

COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

Monterey County is open and welcoming travelers to explore its awe-inspiring Central Coast destination safely and responsibly with some restrictions in place. On June 15, 2021, the state of California moved beyond the California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy to allow for businesses to return to normal operations with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements, with limited exceptions for “mega” events (see Group Meetings & Events section below). The state and county are following CDC guidelines for face coverings (see Mask Guidance section below), and have recommended that face masks be worn indoors, including those who are fully vaccinated. Some businesses are still requiring face masks for all customers. We advise visitors to check individual business websites for details on modified operations, safety and health protocols and to book reservations. 

Monterey County hotels and lodging properties are following the highest industry standards provided by the California Hotel and Lodging Association Clean and Safe guidelines for added preventive measures during your stay. For additional health guidance and frequently asked questions when planning a trip to Monterey County, visit here.

The entire county is working diligently to ensure the health and wellbeing of its visitors, residents and employees.

Mask Guidance

As of July 19, 2021, Monterey County recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places. All Monterey County businesses are adhering to CDC guidelines for face coverings, including:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask outdoors in most cases unless a business requires their customers to. 
  • All individuals should wear masks when using public transportation and when indoors at places like restaurants, attractions, movie theaters and grocery stores.
  • Additional mask wearing exceptions and requirements by the state can be found here.

Please respect individual business requirements and inquire directly for information. Help us keep Monterey County beautiful by properly disposing of all trash including face coverings!

Group Meetings & Events

As of June 15, 2021, meetings and events can resume with normal capacity and no distancing restrictions, with the exception of large-scale indoor events of 5,000+ attendees and outdoor events of 10,000+ attendees. These “mega” events will need vaccination or negative test requirements for attendees through at least October 1. For more details on requirements for mega events, visit here

For more on meetings and events guidelines, visit California Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) Clean and Safe meetings and events guidelines.

Wildfire Season

Warm, dry summer and autumn conditions make for a beautiful experience in Monterey County, but also bring a higher risk for fires. California is entering its wildfire season, which predominantly occurs in remote, forested areas away from population centers. As you travel to Monterey County, we want travelers to be prepared with information to navigate this season and help prevent future outbreaks. It is important to follow all laws regarding open fires, camp only in designated areas, dispose of cigarettes properly and put out all fires in designated areas. Travelers should also have an emergency plan and follow any evacuation orders.  

Before traveling, visitors should:

  • Research nearby areas on their itinerary - it may be possible to easily reroute a trip to another location in the case of interruption by fire-related effects
  • Consult local weather and air-quality forecasts, as well as look for any alerts and possible road closures
  • Sign up for emergency alerts and download the Cal Fire app
  • Anticipate potential short-term public safety power shutoffs to reduce the risk of additional fires 

Travelers with trips planned to an area affected by active fires should:

  • Contact lodging providers for the latest on-the-ground information, including whether evacuations, closures or preventative power shutoffs are possible, or whether rooms are needed for evacuees from surrounding affected communities
  • Speak to airline providers about canceling or rescheduling flights. Typically flights run as usual unless air quality is severely impacted

Travelers affected by fires should:

  • Follow guided evacuation plans
  • Be sure to keep a half-tank of gas in their vehicles and some emergency provisions on hand
  • Be mindful of poor air quality's effects and consider staying indoors and reducing physical activity if smoke has make the air quality unhealthy. Use tight-fitting N95 or P100 masks to help reduce exposure. 


Park Closures

The following parks remain closed due to 2020 wildfire damage in Monterey County:

  • Big Sur State Park Closures including: 
    • John Little State Natural Reserve
    • Limekiln State Park - access to the Park's campground and beach are open, but all trails remain closed

Please visit individual park websites for the latest updates, as well as to learn of possible trail closures throughout Monterey County. 

Travel Responsibly

As our destination welcomes visitors to enjoy our county, we ask that travelers visit responsibly and follow safety precautions, as outlined by health care officials. Please practice the following guidelines: 

  • Mask up as needed: face coverings are required for unvaccinated individuals and when individual businesses require them.
  • Stay home: if you show signs of illness, stay home. Follow CDC guidance for safe travel.
  • Leave no trace behind: properly dispose of all trash and plastics, including face coverings. Help us keep Monterey County beautiful for generations to come.
  • Camp responsibly: camp only at designated campsites to avoid damaging vegetation, causing potential wildfires or camping on private property. Illegal camping is prohibited. 
  • Have a plan: have a back-up plan in case the area you're looking to visit is overcrowded, fully booked or parking areas are full. Explore lesser-known areas and try to avoid times popular areas are in high use. 
  • Respect the destination and others: Monterey County is home to an amazing diversity of indigenous plants and animals. Leave natural objects as you find them, keep your distance from wildlife and be respectful of others so that everyone can enjoy our scenic destination.